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How to Spend $1,200 and Stop the Existential Dread for Literally One Second

Donating to the Los Angeles COVID-19 Mutual Aid Network might be the most cathartic thing you can do right now.

Oh, right. We’re fucked.

I’ve woken up to that thought regularly since mid-March, but it’s been festering in my subconscious for a while now. A lot of very online people have expressed similar feelings since the 2016 election. Marginalized people have lived with it since time immemorial.

So, if you’re feeling the same for the first time, know that you’re not alone. Even for those of us lucky enough to live in stable housing and telecommute, nagging questions can still cycle through our minds.

What will I do if someone I care about gets sick?

Will all my friends be alive the next time I see them?

How are we going to get through this?

And through it all, a feeling of powerlessness. But now is an excellent time to empower ourselves. The federal government has issued a $1,200 stimulus check to every American (excluding a staggering number of unhoused and undocumented people who desperately need it, but who’s expecting federal compassion at this point).

While for a lot of people that’s nowhere near the kind of money they need to survive, for some of us it’s just an unexpected bonus. And one you can’t spend on a vacation or a concert or an arm wrestling competition in the near future.

You can, however, use it to save lives.

The Los Angeles COVID-19 Mutual Aid Network is dedicated to coordinating resources around the city. Over the last month, we’ve distributed more than $12,000 in funds to people in need, served over 350 unhoused residents, and received over 1,000 volunteer applications.

It’s about solidarity, not charity, and provides people the chance to ask for what they need and give what they can. After the stimulus, what I could give was money.

Clicking the donation button immediately staved off the gnawing sensation in my brain. For about a second. Then I started worrying about my next project.

But that’s okay. In my experience, activism has been a collection of seconds and moments and instants where you truly feel like you’re making a difference.

And together, we can make a difference.

Please, if you’re able, donate below. Every bit helps:

Donate to the COVID-19 Mutual Aid Network

Donate to Ground Game LA

Donate to POWER